Points-based system

In order to be eligible for a Tier 4 visa, you must satisfy the immigration rules for Tier 4 of the points-based system. This requires that you score assessment ‘points’ against two sets of objective criteria to achieve an overall pass of at least 40 points.

Applicants must score points for attributes (30 points) and maintenance (10 points).

If you have concerns about meeting the 40-point requirement for the Tier 4 visa, please contact Student Services by emailing advint@st-andrews.ac.uk to discuss your options.


30 points are awarded for the following:

Your qualifications are the academic certificates and transcripts the University used to assess you suitable for entry. The details of your qualifications will be included on the preliminary CAS check email that you will receive from Admissions. Unless you are from a low risk country, you must include the original documents with your application.

Academic progression
If you have previously gained a degree in the UK, the University will need to verify that the course you are entering represents academic progression. We may not be able to issue you a CAS if you have applied to do a course at the same academic level as the one that you have already successfully completed in the UK unless you can demonstrate that it is necessary for your specialisation in a specific area.

English language proficiency
Students who are not coming from a majority English-speaking country and who are entering the University to do degree level study need to provide evidence that they are proficient in English to the level of CEFR B2 (for example, IELTS 5.5 in each of the four components).

The University will require higher levels of English proficiency depending on the level of studies and subject, and such requirements will be stated in your offer letter.

Academic Technologies Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate
You will need to provide an ATAS certificate if you are studying on a course that leads to a postgraduate qualification in certain specific subject areas. Check if you need an ATAS certificate.


10 points are awarded for maintenance (funds). Unless you are from a low risk country, you must be able to show that you have the required money to cover the costs of your tuition, accommodation and maintenance (living costs) in the UK. See how and what to provide as financial evidence.

Tier 4 financial evidence guidance (PDF)